Tag Archives: American Bar Association

Saudi Arabia/Canada: Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

August 18, 2019

More than seven years after Raif Badawi was thrown in prison, lawyers and allies of the Saudi blogger are increasingly lobbying foreign governments in an effort to secure his release as Saudi Arabia prepares to host next year’s G-20 meeting.

Irwin Cotler, a human rights lawyer and former federal justice minister who represents the family internationally, says advocates for Badawi have recently been meeting with foreign governments, UN representatives and others to encourage them to call for the release of Badawi, his sister Samar, their former lawyer Waleed Abulkhair and other imprisoned human rights defenders.

Cotler sat down with The Canadian Press to discuss the intensifying effort to free the 35-year-old Badawi, who was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics.

Cotler said it is urgent “to both internationalize and intensify our advocacy” as Saudi Arabia chairs the G-20 ahead of the meeting in Riyadh in November 2020.

That effort appeared to yield results last month when U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence called on Saudi Arabia to free Badawi as well as three other jailed dissidents.

The four dissidents, Pence said, “have stood in defence of religious liberty and the exercise of their faith despite unimaginable pressure, and the American people stand with them.”

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi case: Efforts to free jailed blogger continue after 7 years

https://www.uscirf.gov/news-room/press-releases-statements/uscirf-vice-chair-nadine-maenza-calls-release-imprisoned-saudi

Mike Pence’s call for Raif Badawi’s release from Saudi prison a shot in the arm for dispirited wife

http://www.abajournal.com/web/article/imprisoned-saudi-lawyer-receives-this-years-international-human-rights-award

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/07/how-saudi-arabia-makes-dissidents-disappear

https://thehill.com/policy/international/middle-east-north-africa/455776-saudi-arabia-frees-us-citizen-after-nearly-two

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/uk-page3.callplt2015.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abulkhair

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raif_Badawi

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1265068/arabie-saoudite-priso-ben-salmane (FRANCAIS)

https://www.les-crises.fr/le-lobby-pro-saoudien-aux-etats-unis-par-rene-naba/ (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/fr-page3.remplt2015.htm (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abu_al-Khair (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raif_Badawi (FRANCAIS)

Image result for waleed abu alkhair

Image result for waleed abu alkhair

USA/Saudi Arabia: Imprisoned Saudi lawyer receives this year’s ABA International Human Rights Award

August 8, 2019

Image result for waleed abu al-khair

A human rights lawyer who was convicted on anti-terrorism charges and sentenced to 15 years in prison—simply for calling for the rule of law in Saudi Arabia—will receive the 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Saudi lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair founded Monitor for Human Rights, one of the only human rights organizations in Saudi Arabia, in 2008, according to an ABA press release. He dedicated his legal career to defending human rights and the right to freedom of expression, and pushed for an elected parliament, independent judiciary, constitutional monarchy and other reforms in his country.

“Abu al-Khair epitomizes the ideals of what lawyers around the world are fighting for,” ABA President Bob Carlson told the ABA Journal. “His efforts defending vulnerable clients, advocating for an independent judiciary and democratic reforms in Saudi Arabia literally cost him his freedom.

“The ABA hopes this award may highlight his situation and bring prominence to the noble causes he supports.”

Abu al-Khair was banned from representing some defendants in courts in 2009, but still represented Samar Badawi, a Saudi woman and human rights activist who was jailed after her father accused her of disobedience under their county’s male guardianship system, the following year. Badawi was released after Abu al-Khair shared details of her case in blogs and on Twitter and Facebook.

They married, and Badawi advocated for Abu al-Khair’s release until she was rearrested in 2018.

Abu al-Khair also represented Badawi’s brother, Raif, a blogger who was arrested in 2012 after establishing the Free Saudi Liberals website. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 blows with a cane.

Abu al-Khair’s 2014 arrest and conviction largely stemmed from comments he made to the media and on social media that criticized Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, discussions of human rights in his home and his defense of activists who were punished for criticizing the government, according to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

The human rights organizations say the specific charges against him included disobeying the ruler and seeking to remove his legitimacy; insulting the judiciary and questioning the integrity of judges; setting up an unlicensed organization; harming the reputation of the state by communicating with international organizations; and preparing, storing and sending information that harms public order.

His full 15-year sentence was upheld by a Saudi appeals court in 2015 after he refused to apologize for the alleged offenses. He is currently in the Dhahban Central Prison in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

http://www.abajournal.com/web/article/imprisoned-saudi-lawyer-receives-this-years-international-human-rights-award

http://www.abajournal.com/web/article/2019-aba-annual-meeting-what-can-you-expect

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2019/06/saudi-lawyer-waleed-abu-al-khair-to-receive-2019-aba-internation/

Abu al-Khair to receive ABA Award

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/04/15/saudi-arabia-5-years-activist-still-behind-bars

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abulkhair

http://hourriya-tagheer.org/15934 (ARABIC)

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/04/15/arabie-saoudite-cinquieme-annee-de-prison-pour-lactiviste-waleed-abu-al-khair (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/fr-page3.remplt2015.htm (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abu_al-Khair (FRANCAIS)

#FreeWaleed

USA/Germany: Brandeis lecture recalls defiance of Jewish lawyers under Nazi rule

July 22, 2019

Dozens of Queens legal professionals and community members attended the lecture organized by the Brandeis Association at Queens Supreme Court.  Eagle  photos by Walter Karling.

Distinguished lecturer Douglas Morris, PhD, JD visited the Queens Supreme Courthouse on Wednesday to deliver an important lecture on the experience of Jewish attorneys in Germany under Nazi rule.

The Brandeis Association hosted the event in conjunction with the Gender Fairness Committee for the Queens Supreme and Criminal Courts, which featured a discussion of Morris’ recent article “The Law in Nazi Germany: Ideology, Opportunism and the Perversion of Justice.”

“Discrimination, degradation, defiance of Jewish lawyers under Nazism” was the unofficial title of Dr. Douglas Morris’ unofficial title for the lecture which told the  story of the deliberate dismantling of the German legal system and focused on the lives and struggles of Jewish legal officers whose practices and accomplishments were systematically undermined.

“I think that, today, lawyers in certain positions should be thinking about how they are conforming to larger demands,” Morris said. “Any [one] step isn’t disastrous, but step by step many who conform are in a position where that contributes to the breakdown of the rule of law.”

Administrative Judge Jeremy Weinstein delivered the opening remarks, before Morris began his talk with an anecdote about an acclaimed German-Jewish lawyer who committed suicide upon the dissolution of a successful partnership during the Nazi era. The attorney had a mental breakdown with his career, life and identity under assault.

Morris went on to explain the comprehensive attack on democracy by Adolf Hitler and his supporters. He highlighted how the Nazi party incited violence and instilled legal doctrine that conformed with their fascist, racist and anti-semitic ideology.

“The story is about the fragility of democracy,” Morris said. “Of the collapse of democracy and rise in tyranny and the importance in upholding equality before the law.”

Jewish lawyers accounted for almost 30 percent of all German attorneys and their removal and persecution opened the door for the installation of unqualified Nazi officials.

The event coincided with the recent introduction of the exhibit “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich” to the Queens Supreme Courthouse on Sutphin Boulevard. The exhibit will be on display through late-August.

https://queenseagle.com/all/brandeis-lecture-recalls-defiance-of-jewish-lawyers-under-nazi-rule

https://holocaustcentermilwaukee.org/events/lawyers-without-rights-opening-event/

https://www.c-span.org/video/?457440-1/jewish-lawyers-nazi-germany

https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-the-nazis-used-the-rule-of-law-against-jewish-lawyers

http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/book_about_jewish_lawyers_targeted_in_nazi_germany_resonates_today

Homepage

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2018/11/new-aba-book-on-purge-jewish-lawyers/

https://lawyerswithoutrights.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_in_Nazi_Germany

Sudan: Must Read: ABA ROLI Partner, Abdelrahman Al Gasim, Delivers Statement on the Human Rights Situation in Sudan to the African Commission

June 3, 2019

Lawyers, journalists, and human rights defenders in Sudan have faced arbitrary detention, torture, and death by Sudanese military and security forces for decades. These military and security forces are often shielded from prosecution. On April 11, 2019, after almost 5 months of civilian-led protests against the regime, the Bashir government was overthrown. 

Following this, ABA ROLI supported two members of the Darfur Bar Association to attend the 64th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) where they delivered a statement on the current human rights situation in Sudan. In short, the statement calls upon the ACHPR to support the demands of the Sudanese people of the government, to investigate the widespread human rights violations (particularly in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile States), and to support the release of persons detained by the former regime. 

The statement was delivered by Abdelrahman Al Gasim, who received the ABA International Human Rights Award in 2018. 

Joint Oral Intervention Presented by Mr. Abdelrahman Al Gasim on behalf of Al-Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment, Darfur Bar Association, and Darfur Relief and Documentation Center

ACHPR 64th Ordinary Session April 24 – May 14, 2019, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

https://abaruleoflaw.blogspot.com/2019/06/must-read-aba-roli-partner-abdelrahman.html

https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/demonstrations-all-over-sudan-during-the-weekend-protestors-hurt-in-el-obeid

https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/sudan-protests-continue-leading-up-to-march-of-millions

https://allafrica.com/stories/201906240446.html

https://www.trtworld.com/africa/un-rights-chief-calls-for-halt-to-repression-sudan-unrest-27277

https://www.france24.com/fr/20190619-soudan-omar-el-bechir-procureure-cpi-remis-transfert-haye-onu-crime-humanite (FRANCAIS)

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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 22/06/19)

No photo description available.

Saudi Arabia/USA: Saudi lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair to receive 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award

June 21, 2019

Image result for waleed abu al-khair

The American Bar Association announced today that it will honor Saudi lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair with its 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award in recognition of his work to advance human rights and advocate for justice in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The award will be presented during a dinner at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, August 8, 7:30 p.m. at the Westin St. Francis Hotel.

The International Human Rights Award was established to honor and give public recognition to a lawyer, human rights luminary or international human rights organization that has made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of human rights outside of the United States. The award is given on behalf of the ABA Center for Human RightsSection of International LawSection of Civil Rights and Social JusticeSection of Litigation and Rule of Law Initiative.

Abu al-Khair is the founder of Monitor for Human Rights, one of only a few human rights organizations in Saudi Arabia, which he established in 2008, just a year after he began practicing law. As an attorney, Abu al-Khair dedicated his career to defending human rights and the right to freedom of expression, even after government authorities banned him in 2009 from representing specific defendants in courts. Abu al-Khair also used his legal background to advocate for an elected parliament, independent judiciary and other democratic reforms in Saudi Arabia.

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2019/06/saudi-lawyer-waleed-abu-al-khair-to-receive-2019-aba-internation/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/04/15/saudi-arabia-5-years-activist-still-behind-bars

Abu al-Khair to receive ABA Award

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2159

http://www.abajournal.com/web/article/2019-aba-annual-meeting-what-can-you-expect

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abulkhair

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/04/15/arabie-saoudite-cinquieme-annee-de-prison-pour-lactiviste-waleed-abu-al-khair (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abu_al-Khair (FRANCAIS)

Turkey: Why we need to support lawyers in Turkey

April 10, 2019

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An attempted coup in Turkey in July 2016 was followed by a purge of lawyers, judges, journalists, opposition politicians, academics and civil servants. Estimates vary, but up to 150,000 people were dismissed, with thousands prosecuted and imprisoned. Amongst them over 1,500 lawyers, including many presidents of provincial bar associations, have been prosecuted and over 200 convicted of terrorist-related offences. Many face long jail sentences. The number grows daily.

The Law Society has been heavily involved in supporting persecuted lawyers. This has been through making interventions on behalf of individual lawyers, and through working jointly with the IBA Human Rights Institute, the Bar Human Rights Committee and Turkish lawyers to make detailed representations to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.

Human Rights Watch today publishes an important report highlighting cases in which lawyers have been unjustifiably prosecuted and making detailed recommendations as to what the Turkish state should do to remedy violations against lawyers. It also proposes steps which it feels that the national bar association, the Union of Turkish Bars, should do to better support its members.

Judges and lawyers are of course always at the centre of efforts to ensure that the citizen is properly represented when charged with crimes by the state; that the rule of law is upheld; and that fundamental rights and freedoms are respected. These roles have been described as one of the ‘guardrails of democracy’ by Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt in their book ‘How Democracies Die’. When the guardrails come loose, democracy itself is threatened. Persecution of lawyers and judges, evidenced by attacks in state sponsored media, threats, investigations and prosecutions are becoming almost a template of oppression in authoritarian regimes. Rattling the guardrail until it detaches results in democratic safeguards being rendered impotent.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/commentary-and-opinion/why-we-need-to-support-the-lawyers-in-turkey/5069865.article

https://ahvalnews.com/human-rights/turkish-authorities-undermine-right-fair-trial-targeting-lawyers-rights-group?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook&fbclid=IwAR2epc77t4e3ToA7aQVbVUXWhJMlqvKRXdThto-khd38LbkeNjjtByJrg9c

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/international/turkey-accused-of-systematic-assault-on-legal-profession-/5069939.article

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/gpsolo/publications/gp_solo/2014/january-february/giving_back_lawyers_under_attack_turkey/

https://www.voanews.com/a/turkey-human-rights/4869478.html

http://bianet.org/english/law/207321-hrw-report-on-lawyers-in-turkey-they-feel-like-extras-in-hearings

Saudi Arabia: Nomination of Waleed Abu al-Khair for the 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award | Joint Letter

March 29, 2019

Waleed Abu al-Khair, unlawfully imprisoned for his work as a human  rights lawyer since 15 April 2014, has been nominated for the 2019
American Bar Association Human Rights Award jointly by LRWC, Lawyers for  Lawyers, Union Internationale des Avocats and the Law Society of England  and Wales.

JOINT NOMINATION LETTER

In accordance with the request of the American Bar Association (ABA) for nominees for the 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award, the following organizations —Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L), the Law Society of England and Wales (LSEW) and the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) —recommend and nominate human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair of Saudi Arabia for the 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award.

Waleed Abu al-Khair is one of the best-known advocates for democratic and human rights reform in Saudi Arabia.  He has used the written and spoken word coupled with his legal knowledge to fearlessly advocate for reforms to improve the lives of all in Saudi Arabia by calling on the Government of Saudi Arabia to allow its citizens to enjoy internationally protected rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly and the right to participate directly and indirectly in public affairs.  He has done this work through writing and public speaking, by representing causes and clients unpopular with the Government of Saudi Arabia, by providing a safe space for peaceful discussion of issues of public concern and by providing people with an example of responsible advocacy for justice for all.  At the risk of his own personal and professional safety and security, Waleed Abu al-Khair persisted in using his training and skills as a lawyer to be an outspoken advocate for an elected parliament, an independent judiciary, a constitutional monarchy and recognition of internationally protected human rights. He has also advocated on behalf of prisoners of conscience and written many articles identifying human rights abuses and the need for legal reform. He recommended reliance on the rule of law and proper legal procedures to effect reform and settle disputes and differences of opinion and never advocated or used violence as a means of opposition.

https://www.lrwc.org/saudi-arabia-nomination-of-waleed-abu-al-khair-for-the-2019-aba-international-human-rights-award-joint-letter/

https://www.lrwc.org/saudi-arabia-waleed-abu-al-khair-update-wgad/

https://www.lrwc.org/saudi-arabia-arbitrary-detention-of-samar-badawi-working-paper/

https://www.ifex.org/saudi_arabia/2019/03/25/al-qahtani-mistreatment/

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/434752-senate-dems-petition-saudi-king-to-release-dissidents-us-citizen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abulkhair

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abu_al-Khair (FRANCAIS)

Image result for waleed abu al-khair